When God Whispers
I remember my 5-pound flour sack baby. Some high schools have crying baby dolls for their family life curriculum units for a more authentic experience. But mine didn't cry. It did leak, though!
My flour sack baby, as I recall, had taped-on yarn hair and drawn-on clothes, and it was wrapped in clear packing tape — especially at the seams. My assigned “husband” trekked that flour sack through the metropolitan subway system, and then gave up that idea and opted for overnight baby sleepovers in his locker. (He’s now a responsible father to two little ones!)
Twenty-ish years ago in my class assignment, I didn't grasp the enormity of parenthood. The short nights. The gargantuan smells and noises a tiny person makes. The perpetually needed feeding sessions. The ranging and frequently demanding volumes of baby communication. The awesome and daunting task of teaching Baby about basic life skills and witnessing the ongoing learning process. The selfless sacrifices a parent makes to showcase love, care, and compassion to a child. The swell of love. The presence of doubts and fears. The joy of a child.
Through the years, I used to hastily hand a crying baby back to the mother.
However, I am the mother now. Baby cries no longer scare me. I cherish the coos, mews, chortles, wails, grunts, and other baby sounds.
Baby is talking. I try to listen.
In January, our baby boy started teaching us his conversation code the first sleepless night in the hospital. He chatted with us all night long from his bassinet. By the next day, we were identifying tonal trends and explaining his little chirps to the grandparents.
The other night, I was working late in my home office when I heard a whimper. I knew that sound…from the opposite end of the house and through a closed door. I knew it was time to respond to my son’s needs.
Sometimes, many times, I whimper, too. My soul whimpers to God. In the transition to working motherhood, I’ve struggled to find personal time with God. My daily clock is often topsy-turvy, and it feels even crazier when I don’t have my quiet time with God.
My husband challenged me to make my Jesus times a renewed priority. The only quiet time I have: middle of the night feeding times. My brain had to go through the motions at first. I can’t tell you what I read from various YouVersion Bible reading plans. It’s a giant blur. But I know it happened, and I know there is new peace and calmness in my heart.
The first messages I do remember reading were about listening to God’s whispers. The devotional readings were based on Mark Batterson’s book titled “Whisper.” One of the readings opens with: “God has an outside voice, and He’s not afraid to use it. But when God wants to be heard, when what He has to say is too important to miss, He often speaks in a whisper just above the absolute threshold of hearing.”
I thought about how I respond to the calls to take care of my son’s basic needs, and realize God does so much more in responding to my life needs. Just like I see a bigger picture with my baby son’s needs, God sees the bigger picture in my life. He hears the whispers of my heart through galaxies. He has my best interest in mind, He knows what’s next, and He wants to give me the gifts of heaven.
Elijah heard God’s whispers. He was tired, hungry, worn out, and empty. God came beside him to strengthen and uplift him, and to whisper words to purpose into his life.
1 Kings 19 records how the Lord said to Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
The story continues: 'Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.'
Whatever mountain victory or valley challenge, or maybe a dark cave of reality, you may be in, God is talking. He wants to whisper into your life and mine. I am trying to listen. How about you?